The Hazards of Toxic Algae

Cyanobacteria (a.k.a. blue-green algae) are a type
of algae which can produce toxins and are often found in lakes with high phosphorus concentrations. Human exposure to cyanobacteria can lead to skin irritation, allergic reactions, gastrointestinal symptoms and respiratory problems. Pets and livestock are more likely to drink large quantities of lake water, potentially resulting in illness and/or death.

Causes and Symptoms of Poor Water Quality

The nutrient of concern in lakes is phosphorus. Algae, like terrestrial plants, require phosphorus to grow.

What are algae?

Algae are microscopic, free- floating organisms that are commonly found in lakes. They are similar to terrestrial plants in that they also require sunlight and nutrients to grow. Algae are the important base of the aquatic food web that ultimately supports juvenile
and adult fish. However, the excessive growth of
undesirable types of algae (Cyanobacteria) causes severe water quality problems. Cyanobacteria (a.k.a. blue-green algae) thrive when nutrients are high and are capable of producing toxins. They grow rapidly to cause blooms and scums and are usually associated with nearly all lake water quality problems.

Moody Lake Project Description

Moody Lake is a 34-acre lake near Chisago City, MN with an average depth of 14 feet and a maximum depth of 48 feet.  The lake is eutrophic, experiences excessive summer algae blooms, and has poor water quality (high phosphorus concentrations, large amounts of algae, low water clarity).  Moody is listed as impaired for excess…